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Sunday 29 December 2013


Hello everyone

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that it was not ruined by power cuts or flooding.  Bad weather is never welcome, but at Christmas it seems even harder to cope with as it is a time when families get-together and this year that may have been impossible for some people.  I hope the New year brings better weather for all of us.

We had a mini power cut on Christmas day (not long after the turkey had been put in the oven), but as our power is via overhead electricity cables, this is something that happens fairly often and didn't cause us to rush out and light the BBQ (believe me, we had planned this as an alternative way of cooking Christmas lunch).  However, two roads very near to ours were without power for most of Christmas Eve and friends in Godalming and Shackleford were without power off and on for long periods of time over the holidays.

We had a lovely Christmas Day.  A close friend spent the day with us  and once we had eaten our way through a mountain of food (well , it felt like that) we were able to relax, listen to music and play some 'old but fun' Christmas quizzes.  As always happens we seem to have catered for a coach party - plenty of leftovers to munch our way through while we catch up on television programmes we have missed over the Christmas break.

Christmas Pie Crafts made it into the Surrey Advertiser in time for Christmas.  By chance I was at home when we had a visit from one of the newspaper's journalists who was asking residents about the name Christmas Pie, its origins and what people though of the name.  How could I resist mentioning my business?    I love a bit of free advertising, always very welcome - thank you Surrey Advertiser.

2013 is nearly over and it's time to reflect on the highs and lows of the year and make plans to move my
business forward in the New Year.  I have some ideas and there are new things on the horizon for me and my business and rather than rush into new things and possibly regret some of them, I am taking time to plan.  Although there will be new activities for Christmas Pie Crafts to get to grips with, top of my 'To Do' list is to spend more time on CPC Wedding Stationery than I have in the current year.  I have already booked two wedding fayres for 2014 -with companies I have been with this year and they were successful for me.  The fayres are both in March so I have time to plan new ranges, marketing and promotion - however, as I am very good at putting things off, I must make a concerted effort to begin making for them very soon.

The sun is shining, hardly any breeze, although still frosty but a good time to get out into the garden.  Because most recent week days and weekends were spent in the Christmas Emporium very little work was carried out and there is still quite of lot of tidying and pruning to do.

Happy New Year everyone.  I am looking forward to reading new and 'old' blogs in 2014, welcoming new followers and hopefully starting up the Friday Guest Blogger spot again - anyone interested in being the first guest blogger of 2014?


Monday 23 December 2013


Hi everyone

Yes, the fat lady has sung because it's all over.  My last day in the Christmas Emporium at Secretts Farm Shop was yesterday and I am completely shattered.  I have worked almost non-stop for the last 30 days - in the Emporium or making new stock or completing orders.

This year at Secretts has been very successful for me and I have enjoyed it immensely.  We have had tears and the odd tantrums along the way, but that's life when you get a bunch of women working closely with each other, isn't it?  Sadly, two stallholders lost their takings on one day - a situation arose where a large group of people came into the Emporium, the stall holders who were on duty were busy with customers and some sneaky person or people took advantage of the situation and walked off with hard-earned cash.  Most of the stallholders are small business sole traders, creating beautiful handmade items and although I do not condone stealing of any sort, big companies can bear the loss better than the small business person.  Needless to say, after this happened we were all very vigilant and, sadly, suspicious of nearly everyone who came into the Emporium.

My best sellers of the event?  My hand-decorated jute bags and wreaths - on the list for more jute type goodies for 2014 I think.  Cards sold slowly, but I came to the conclusion a long time ago that people do not buy handmade cards in large quantities because it becomes too expensive for them.  The odd personalised one, yes, but 20 or more drains the Christmas expenses pocket.

A quick post form Christmas Pie Crafts mainly to wish all of my followers, friends and readers a very Happy Christmas and a BIG thank you for your support throughout 2013.  I wish everyone a great 2014 and particularly those of us in the world of handmade, I hope the UK recognises that we are a force of talent to be reckoned with.

Have fun everyone and I hope you manage to avoid this atrocious weather.


Wednesday 18 December 2013


Hello everyone

This may be my last blog post of the year because next Wednesday is Christmas Day - I am still not too sure what that is, but I understand that among other things happening on the day there could be presents for me to open, so I will be rather busy.

Jen and Lisa, the last two ginger and white kittens, went to their new home yesterday evening.  How lovely, a new home for Christmas.  But we do have another foster kitten, we now have a teeny tiny black kitten called Mary.  She is very shy and nervous - the complete opposite to me in fact.  I am sure she will settle down when she gets used to all of us.

Lots of the homes around here have pretty lights hanging off of them and one neighbour has put lights around one of the trees outside his home.  It all looks very pretty but I don't really see much of it because when they come on, I am already in bed snoozing.

Well, it's time for me to go - very late in posting today - but just in case I don't make it on to the laptop next Wednesday, I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas.  Don't eat too much, and make sure you look after your cats and kittens over the Christmas period.

See you soon


Monday 16 December 2013


Hi everyone

My Sunday post is running late and has become a Monday post - it's been a hectic week.

Lots of days at Secretts, plus an evening event mean I am running to try to keep up - I should be stick thin by now!  It has been a week of excellent sales at Secretts, lots of decorated jute bag orders as well as orders for birthday cards.  I decorated some jute bags specifically for the evening event I did at Barnett Hill and lots of compliments buy no sales - however, did very well with my mini cards and lavender sachets.  It was a pretty soggy and foggy evening, and I don't think the  expected number of guests all turned up.  I was advised that only 8 stalls and no cross over so no competition - who was I placed next to?  Pheonix Cards.  Nice lady, nice stock, but how can I compete with their prices??  The handmade soap and beauty products did well, as did Pheonix Cards, I think the jewellery did well, but sadly the ladies selling beautiful Christmas floral arrangements didn't get any sales or orders.

Barnett Hill is a lovely venue and the fair was in a wood-panelled room with a lovely big open fire, which was alight.  Opposite was a big Christmas tree and it all looked lovely.  Here is a photograph of part of the room we were in:

It was a little dark in the room, so the photographs look a bit fuzzy.   Here are two pics of my stall:

I had taken in some sets of battery operated lights which I placed in a glass bowl - it did help poor light and highlighted some of the pieces on my stand.

This week is another mad one: Secretts tomorrow, all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  in between a visit to the dentist to have a tooth removed (not looking forward to that!), catching up with friends for lunch on Wednesday and fitting in time to get my hair cut.  Still no further forward with our own Christmas and think it will be squashing shopping and decorating and present buying into Monday and Tuesday of next week.  Next year I will plan to be more organised.....................

Have a great week everyone, not long to go before the Big Day.  Off to join in the Handmade Monday party

Wednesday 11 December 2013


Hello everyone

A busy day today, well it will be once I have had my mid-morning snooze.

Not to sure what all this fuzzy white stuff is in the garden - good job I am a cat because I can see through it, but it is wet!  It clings to my whiskers and paws.  As you know, I don't do wet!  I was born in August, so I am a summer cat and as there just is little sun around at the moment, I tend to spend more time inside than outside.

Jill met up with some of the lovely Woking Cats Protection volunteers last Thursday and I understand they talked about my blog.  My fame is spreading.  I could be in with a chance of winning a Blog Writer's Award - okay, perhaps not, but a cat can dream.

Lots of talk around here of that thing called Christmas.  Sprouts and parsnips have been mentioned, whatever they are.  I do know what a turkey is though - I wonder if it comes in a small packet with a picture of a black and white cat on it?  Although I had been with Jill and Richard for a few weeks before last Christmas I only moved in properly on 4 December so I was a bit shy!  Yeh!  As if.

I think next week could see 'the tree' being set up.  I do hope Jill and Richard realise that with five cats in the home, the tree might not be 'up' for very long.

It is still looking fuzzy outside, so I am going to settle down for a snooze - very close to the radiator I think.  Have a good week everyone - see you next Wednesday.


Sunday 8 December 2013


Hello everyone

Sorry for the pun-ish title, couldn't think of an appropriate one and this popped into my head.

How are your Christmas plans going?  I am no further forward and can see that the bulk of our Christmas shopping will take place during the three days before Christmas.  This is the second year I have been involved in the Christmas emporium at Secretts, but this year has been busier because an extended range of 'makes' has meant lots of lovely extra orders.  We have had some poorly stall holders this week, which as you can imagine has put pressure on others to jump in to help out.  For the second weekend running Saturday was not great for sales, but Sunday was.  I wonder why?

Jute bags completed this week have included 12 butterfly-decorated ones for Lesley, a second Scottie dog one for Denise, a black cat one for a customer at Secretts and another butterfly one (purple) for Carrie, one of my fellow stall holders.  In addition to orders, I am decorating a small stock of bags to take to an event I have been invited to on Thursday evening at Barnett Hill, which is just outside of Guildford.  The event is to promote the venue to existing and new clients and although the advised attendance will be low, fingers crossed they are in a Christmassy buying frame of mind.

As so often happens, I have no photographs to show of bags made - I try to remember and I always so, once they have been passed to my customer!

Another busy week looming although some social things too.  Catching up with a couple of friends tomorrow evening and then I will be having a Christmas lunch/get-together with my pottery group.  Hard to believe another term is over this week - but guess what?  I remembered to take photographs of the pieces I was working on this week and here they are!

This is a very tall wraparound vase, with a slightly fluted top.  I am not sure what colour to use and as I will have the Christmas break to think about it, I might buy some glaze as we have a limited range of colours available at the centre.

This candle holder was made with the left over trim from the fluted vase.  It just seemed a waste to return it to the bag, so I rolled it and lo and behold another piece of pottery.  I have blended some of the edges, made the centre wide enough to take a thicker than normal taper candle, and I am rather pleased with it.  Again, not too sure what colour to go for but rather fancy a bright shiny red.  

I am off to catch up with the Handmade Monday bloggers but I must thank everyone who took part in last week's blog hop for visiting and commenting on my blog post.  I know it is a frantically busy time of year and I appreciate you and all my other lovely visitors/commenters stopping by.

Have a great week - see you next Sunday


Wednesday 4 December 2013


Hello everyone

Oh dear, oh dear, I nearly forgot to write my diary again!  Think it has something to do with what people keep calling Christmas - not too sure what that is, but everyone seems to be extra busy because of it.

Emily, Lois, Jen and Lisa are still with us, but Emily and Lois are going to their new home tomorrow.  I know Jill will miss them, but we will still have Jen and Lisa with us, although I know they would love to have a new home for Christmas.

Jill has said we are going to have a Christmas tree in the hall - but what is a Christmas tree?  Will she dig up one from the garden and bring it inside?  Why does it have to be brought inside?  Although, just thinking about it, I rather like climbing trees and to have one inside could be lots of fun.  Okay, I agree, you and Richard can bring a tree in from the garden just for me.  They keep talking about a turkey coming here too.  I don't understand this because when I bring birds in I am told off, so why can they do it but not me?  Life can be pretty unfair for the world's cutest cat and I really don't understand human beings at all.

It's very late for me to be writing my diary, long past my bedtime, so I will sign off now.  Have a good week everyone - I will be back next Wednesday.


Sunday 1 December 2013


Hi everyone

A busy week and getting busier all the time.  Being busy work-wise is always very welcome but getting behind with our own Christmas arrangements is not so good.  Like lots of people I haven't bought any Christmas presents, written any cards or even thought about pre-ordering food for 'the day'.  Never mind, only 24 days to go and I am sure between now and 25 December everything will come right.

You may remember my Scottie dog jute bag?  I had an order to make one with two Scottie dogs on and the customer was so pleased with it that she has ordered another one.  As well as that I have one to make with a black cat on (to be collected by the customer tomorrow) and another one with purple butterflies on.  Here is a photograph of the double Scottie dog bag:

The Christmas Emporium at Secretts has been busy although rather strange, yesterday was very quiet.  Our first Saturday of opening was very busy and we were all hoping for something similar yesterday.  It may be that there were other events taking place locally that prevented visitors coming to our 'show' - I think some of the local towns turned their Christmas lights on yesterday and Godalming (very near to Milford where Secretts is) had lots of activities on during their 'switch-on'.  A good friend of mine, Jan , covered yesterday afternoon in the Emporium for me - thank you Jan, I hope you enjoyed your session.

A fellow crafting friend, Dawn of Stone Pit Crafts, has some space on my table in the emporium and her hand-knitted head bands and bangles are proving very popular, as well as her wellie-boot toppers.

I have spent today working on customer's orders as well as decorating candles - lots of beads, baubles and ribbons in use.  I am so pleased that I have three whole days off during the week - woo hoo!  However, they are three days off from working in the emporium, but here at Christmas Pie Crafts it will be three days of making scented Christmas candles, cards and decorating jute bags, as well as taking my foster kittens to the vet and two of them to their new home, pl,us pottery on Thursday.  All very hectic,but also very enjoyable.

Thank you to everyone who visited and commented on my blog post last Sunday and I am so sorry it took me a long time to return the compliment.  It seems to get harder and harder as the weeks go by to visit everyone who takes part in Handmade Monday and I am sorry about that because I love to catch up on my fellow crafters work.  However, I do recommend you try to visit as many as possible taking part in this week's blog hop as I know you will really enjoy reading about their week.

Have a great week everyone  - just seen on the news that snow is forecast for the end of the week!  Hope it's not too much though.  'See' you all next week.